Grade Levels: K-3

This page provides information to support educators and families in teaching K-3 students about basic adding. It is designed to complement the Basic Adding topic page on BrainPOP Jr.

Addition is a key math concept that students revisit and build upon year after year. In order to be flexible mathematical thinkers it is important for your children to be familiar with many ways to complete basic addition problems. Depending on what your students have been exposed to in their math studies, this movie may serve as a general introduction, overview, or a review of a range of addition strategies. In the next several months BrainPOP Jr. will be posting new movies to explore individual addition strategies in more depth.

Encourage your students to use different strategies according to their skills and knowledge, as well as the problem at hand. Some students may need to use tally charts to help them keep track of what they add. They can draw tally marks to represent each number and then count the marks in all. Since tally marks are grouped in fives, some children can then skip-count by fives to count and find the sum more quickly. Others can use counters or number lines to model addition problems.

Your children can also “count on” to add. They should hold the larger number in their head and count on the smaller number. For example, in 2 + 6, students would start with 6 and count on 2 to arrive at 8. Adding ten is another helpful strategy. For example, in 7 + 20, students can start with 7 and add two 10’s: 7, 17, 27. Your children should note how the tens place changes as you add tens, but the ones place remains the same. It can be especially helpful to use a 100 chart to demonstrate how to add tens.

Doubles facts can also help your children add more efficiently. Doubles are number sentences that use the same addend twice, such as 2 + 2 = 4 or 6 + 6 = 12. Once your students know their doubles by heart they can apply their knowledge of doubles to other addition problems. For example, to solve 4 + 5, students can use the doubles fact of 4 + 4 = 8. Since 5 is one greater than 4, the sum of 4 + 5 should be one greater than the sum of 4 + 4. Similarly, since 4 is one less than 5, the sum of 4 + 5 should be one less than the sum of 5 + 5.

Encourage your children to use these strategies to add and think of other ways to make adding faster and easier. Give them lots of practice using different strategies to solve number problems. Then discuss which strategies work best for each type of problem. This will allow your children to become more comfortable with adding and develop their math and higher-order thinking skills.